Poland keeps ban on Israeli school groups with armed guards

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Poland has banned Israeli school groups from using armed guards during visits to the country, including to former Nazi concentration camps.

Foreign ministry spokesman Lukasz Jasina was quoted by PAP news agency on Wednesday as saying: “We are ready to receive Israeli excursions in Poland if they are not accompanied by armed security guards.”

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Jasina spoke after Israeli ambassador Yacov Livne last week said Israeli school visits had been banned “because of the decisions taken by the Polish foreign ministry.”

The issue is over visits organized by Israel’s education ministry for secondary school children, which have been suspended since June.

Interviewed on a regional radio station in Lublin in eastern Poland, Jasina said there were no armed guards for Israeli school children on visits to France and Germany, which could create the impression they were more in danger in Poland than in those countries.

Poland and Israel have fallen out repeatedly in recent years, most recently over a new Polish law seen as curbing the claims of Jewish families whose properties were seized after World War II.

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